These resources and tips will help you provide effective coaching at CoachArt clubs and one-day group lessons.

What to Expect
Addressing Behavior Issues
Preparation for Head Coaches

What to Expect

What is a club?

CoachArt Clubs create unique multi-week experiences where children form a bond with fellow participants while gaining valuable skills in the activity of their choice. Join a CoachArt club and be part of a special team focused on providing chronically ill children and their siblings with enriching athletic experiences in a supportive team environment.

What is a one-day group lesson?

CoachArt’s one-day group lessons provide short-term instructive settings for a group of children to learn a new skill in a supportive social environment.

What is my role as head coach?

CoachArt head coaches are responsible for creating curriculum (with support from our staff); procuring lesson materials within budget (CoachArt staff can make purchases or we can reimburse you); leading the activities, set up, and clean up; delegating tasks to assistant coaches; assisting with tracking attendance; reporting any issues to staff; and providing feedback. Head Coaches may receive a stipend for hours worked.

What is my role as an assistant coach?

CoachArt assistant coaches support the head coach with set up, clean up, and helping CoachArt kids through the activity at hand. Assistant coaches are always volunteer positions.

CoachArt embraces difference: inclusion training
What Head Coaches should expect from CoachArt staff (budget, lesson materials, booking venue etc) versus what you will be responsible for

Budget – CoachArt will provide the volunteer with a budget for lesson materials that fluctuates based on the activity and the number of student-participants. The volunteer has the option to purchase everything and get reimbursed after, or for staff to order the materials for them.

Lesson Materials – The volunteer, has access to the lesson materials located in the office that they can pick up but can also use their budget to purchase other needed items.

Venue – CoachArt staff will work closely with the volunteer to find the appropriate venue space for the group lessons. The location can be accommodated and funded by CoachArt, or the volunteer can suggest a site they are familiar with and can provide.

Volunteer Support – CoachArt staff will recruit volunteers to support you for the entire program. CoachArt staff will let you know if you will be responsible for keeping attendance of your support volunteers. CoachArt staff will be responsible for sending reminders.

Student Recruitment – CoachArt will recruit students to participate in the program. CoachArt staff will let you know if you will be responsible for keeping attendance of your students. CoachArt staff will be responsible for sending reminders.

Overall club structure

Most clubs meet once a week for four to eight weeks. A single session typically lasts one to two hours with an additional 30 minutes at the start and end for setup and cleanup. Clubs usually begin with informal student assessment activities, intro activities, and ice breakers. The middle sessions provide progressive learning experiences, and the final session is typically a celebration including a presentation of skills learned, certificates, sometimes food, and always lots of high fives!

How do I sign up?

Check your email inbox for invites to help out at all of our group programs. If you are interested in creating a new club, reach out to your dedicated Program Manager.

Addressing Behavior Issues

  • Create a positive environment.
  • Post the CoachArt Agreements and the Three Opportunities Rule in a prominent space in the room or on the field (download it here).
  • Be creative with how you share the CoachArt Agreements on Day One. Try ‘Charades Style’ (coaches act out each agreement, kids guess) or ‘Pictionary Style’ (coaches draw each agreement, kids guess).
  • Ask for assistance from parents.

Preparation for Head Coaches

If you’re assigned to be the Head Coach for a CoachArt club or one-day group lesson, this information is for you.

The first day

Attendance – As students arrive, greet them, introduce yourself, check them off the attendance sheet, and give them a name tag. Once club begins, ask an assistant coach to take attendance for any late-comers.

Introductions – When you are ready to begin, address all of the students and parents. Give an enthusiastic introduction of yourself and the other volunteers.

Overview – Give an overview of the club i.e This is Art Club! We will be meeting for one hour every Saturday for four weeks. On the last day of club we will have a Gallery Art Show where we invite our friends and family to see the beautiful artwork we have created!

Goals – Share the goals of the club i.e. Our goal is that you improve your dribbling, shooting, and passing skills while having fun and making new friends!

Expectations – Go over the CoachArt Agreements and the Three Opportunity Rule with parents and students.

Icebreaker – Icebreakers are a great way to get to know each other and ease into the days activities.

Team Time – Circle Up! Ask the kids to give thumbs up, sideways, or down to indicate how they are feeling — no explanation needed! Review the day’s objectives.

Play! – Jump into the day’s activities

Icebreaker ideas

Check out this collection of icebreaker ideas.

Pro-tips for head coaches

Engage your volunteers
  • Introduce volunteers as “coach” instead of “volunteer” so kids know we are all in a position of authority/deserve the same respect
  • Use the time before practice (arrive 15 minutes early) to talk to volunteers, as about their lives/get to know them
  • Don’t assign too many menial tasks to volunteers
  • Let volunteers take the lead on certain activities
  • Encourage relationships between volunteer and student to create a memorable/ transformational experience
Create a non-competitive environment
  • Try to engage as a group. Kids may get distressed when tasked with activity alone
  • Competitive drills within teams (so there’s support)
  • Incorporate coaches INTO the team
  • Pairing a strong coach with an intimidated student
  • Less focused on making kids perform a series of drills every practice. I try to use games as a way of teaching concepts and skills
Promote social interaction
  • Emphasize a group mentality whenever possible
  • Kids aren’t afraid to mess up when they have a support system behind them
  • In the first couple weeks, make connections between students and volunteers during breaks
  • If you see a student or volunteer who is isolated, do your best to bring them into the mix
  • Always start and end as a group
  • Choose collaborative projects and games when possible
Manage Transitions
  • Be prepared for every lesson or practice. If you know what’s coming next, the transition will be smooth
  • If something is clearly not working, wrap it up and move on
  • Do your best to keep lessons structured without FEELING structured
  • Let students know when a transitioned is coming i.e. 5 more minutes and we are going to have a water break
  • Choose games and activities that keep kids on toes/fast-paced so they will be engaged and ready for transitions


Please print this attendance sheet and track attendance at each session. Give the attendance sheet to your Program Manager at the end of your club or lesson.

Incident reports

We don’t foresee any need to utilize this information, but it is always important to be prepared! Here are some important things to remember:

An incident report may be used for students, parents, volunteers, or staff members. All incident reports must be reviewed with a Program Manager and the Executive Director to determine if further action is needed.

An incident report must be drafted within 24 hours of occurrence. Ideally the report will be completed while all involved parties are still on site.

  • When should you report an incident?
    • Injury/Medical
    • Behavioral issue resulting in dismissal from activity
    • Natural Disaster
    • Destruction of Property
    • Theft
    • Safety Issue
  • What is the procedure for reporting an incident?
    • CoachArt staff or the Head Coach should bring blank incident reports to all CoachArt activities.
    • When an incident occurs, staff or the Head Coach should respond according to emergency protocol prior to filling out an incident report.
    • If possible, staff or the Head Coach should complete the incident report onsite within one hour of the incident.
    • If it is not feasible to complete the incident report within one hour, complete it as soon as possible.
    • Submit the incident report to a direct supervisor within 24 hours. The supervisor will share it with the Executive Director and determine whether any further action is needed.

Download the Incident/Accident Report Form here.

  • Emergency Medical Cards
    • You will be provided with labeled and sealed CONFIDENTIAL Emergency Medical Information Cards for each student in your club.
    • Keep these cards on hand in your binder during the club and in a safe place at all other times.
    • Should an emergency medical situation arise, call 911 and hand the appropriate card to the emergency medical professional that arrives on the scene.
    • Destroy the cards upon completion of the club.

What happens when the club ends?

At the close of your club, your Program Manager will reach out to you to collect your attendance records, arrange materials pickup if needed, and debrief you on your experience. Please share stories, photos, and ideas for improvement.